« | Home | »

Same Old Newcastle (Day 11)

By Ginger | September 29, 2009

Family present? Tick.

Friends all lined up to see you stand or fall? Tick.

Audience about to stand in almost respectful silence? Tick.

Funny thing about playing Newcastle is that it still feels like you’re paying your dues.

Songs are met, initially, with a stillness of quiet approval before a loud cheer of authentication as each song ends. It is, at once, both off-putting and comforting. Nowhere is like Newcastle, and that’s just as it should be.

For me Newcastle is my own microcosmic version of the UK, and in this version crime is met with indifference by authorities almost annoyed by its inconvenience. It’s hard to get jail time in Newcastle. My oldest friend, Panda, meets me during the day for a catch up. He looks very normal. It’s only recently that he’s gotten the use of his right eye back after a severe beating from three teenage strangers who jumped him from behind, knocked him unconscious and proceeded to stamp on his head as he lay. Doctors have reconstructed his eye socket and quite a lot of his face, his eyeball has been taken out twice for surgery and right now only his sense of positivity is getting him through the day. It’s a miracle he’s walking. Or even alive.

The criminals were caught and arrested (having beaten someone up on CCTV only minutes before attacking Panda) and let off with two cautions and one easy sentence. He will be out after a year or two with good behaviour.

They’d have had to kill him to get a more fitting punishment.

This is my England.

More and more people I know are being attacked, or telling stories of people attacked, by random thugs born of a society that provides no release of boredom and a government that offers no deterrent.

When the UK issues the ‘three strikes and out’ law (three offences and you’re in jail, buddy) then I’ll bring my family back here to live.

The band played amazingly well. The audience eventually thawed and lost their cool. It was great to see friends and family again. The bus eventually pulled away to the sound of drunken people arguing by the big market. No doubt someone will end up a bloody mess in A&E somewhere and the public will glibly pay for the doctors’ bills with their monthly taxes. Bills that will continue to mount.

If these people are going to cost us money then wouldn’t one taxable expenditure of a jail sentence for repeat violent offenders be a far cheaper and much safer option?

Don’t we get a say?


39 Responses to “Same Old Newcastle (Day 11)”

  1. Paulron32 Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 13:37

    Usually go to the Manchester gig but can’t make Wed so we drove up and stayed with a pal in the North East. Met a few of the guys in Rafferties before the gig, I’ve never seen a dropped glass cause so much hilarity, although well swept up my man (Steve?) Sorry about the extra light comments from the flash on the phone.

    The band were superb from start to finish and the crowd were a little subduded but it was one of the best gigs I’ve seen and certainly one of the best I’ve seen Ginger and the boys play. Great venue as well helped, much better than the tiny room in Manchester where us short stops can’t see anything.

    All in all a top night out and well worth the trip, think Newcastle will be on the agenda from now on.

  2. Ben Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 13:40

    Well Ginger I enjoyed as I always do & the new album sounded fantastic live, but from where I was it annoyed me a bit, the crowd being so quiet & not really knowing the new stuff I didn’t when I first got the album but having listened it 2x per day the hard work payed off & the 2nd set was a bonus a real bonus I just went mental.

    Newcastle is strange I agree, I remember the solo gig back in May polite applause (even given the sound gremlins)As I live in Middlesbrough, Newcastle is generally the option but maybe next time I’ll try Leeds its an hour either way. You guys last played Middlesbrough in 2002 & before that 1996 I would love if you could somehow get back there

    All I can say the 5 strong party I came with all agree it was fantastic

  3. PG Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 13:59

    I honestly don`t think the audience were nowhere near as bad as it being made out, especially on the forum. Like it or lump it now Wildhearts fans are on their 40`s (some 50`s!) and it`s not like we`re young Kids anymore who go out on the Piss most nights a week. It`s not the era of the Mayfair or Riverside and what actually makes a HUGE difference to gigs in our age group (both in atmosphere & attendance)is if it`s a Friday or Saturday night, hence no work next day, few beers feel good factor etc. It`s exactly the same with the Damned & SLF these days. Both bands stated in the late 70`s early 80`s that Newcastle was their favourite place to play (Glasgow too) but now they play to tame audiences.
    I thought the cheering last night was quite loud to be honest.

    I do totally agree with Ginger with regarding how soft this country is on scum who repeadtly offend and let off time & time again. This country sucks, it`s not draconian enough with these Shit Houses. However Newcastle is nowhere near as bad as Manchester, Liverpool B`ham or London for crime.

  4. Scott Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 14:21

    I was aware of the latest album release but after hearing that it was going to be played in it’s entirity decided to expose my ears to it “live” for the 1st listen and wasn’t disappointed.

    I 1st saw The Wildhearts in the Astoria (London) when they stood in as support for Love/Hate when The 4 Horsemen couldn’t make it and have been a fan ever since. I introduced my younger bro to them and we’ve seen them on numerous occasions. Newcastle Is now my closest venue so as a birthday treat I invited my Bro up from London and we came over. I must admit I expected a louder reception, seeing as it’s the band’s hometown but I must say past gigs at the Brixton Academy, The Astoria, kentish Town and even the Reading Festival have had more atmosphere and response from the crowd. Point taken about the aging fanbase; that aside the band were really tight and a pleasure to watch; the hairs on my neck were standing watching a band I’ve followed for too long to remember!

    It’s a shame Ginger’s visit home was spoilt a little by the sad demise of British law and order but I sincerely hope he’s NOT “turning American!”

    Thanks to Ginger and the band for making my brother’s birthday!

  5. SteveP Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 14:30

    “Iโ€™ve never seen a dropped glass cause so much hilarity, although well swept up my man (Steve?) Sorry about the extra light comments from the flash on the phone”

    Thanks very much for that Paul, if footage ever gets on youtube or the like, I’ll fuckin well sue the lot of ya hahahaha!!
    Seriously though, great night (for me only spoilt by the crowd, see my comments on the board!!)
    Looking forwrd to Manc & London

    Summary so far:
    Best gig for band: Leeds
    Best gig for fans: Glasgow (you mad fuckers!!!)

  6. PG Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 14:34

    It`s all down to venues too Scott, I mean there was probably 900+ last night but might only get 400 in another city in a smaller venue. If a venue is rammed and small the atmosphere is always better even if the crowd is smaller.
    The Wildhearts have had some fucking amazing Geordie crowds in the past. The band are still loved in Newcastle. There`s nowhere else to play for them in Newcastle now though accept the Academy.
    I mean Mayfair demolished (crime of the century!) and the Riverside being made into apartments.
    CityHall is not reall appropriate and the Uni basement where they`ve played in the past is a truely fucking horrid venue. The thing is with Newcastle, the next time they play the crowd will probably be mental again!

  7. john loader Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 14:40

    yeah would love to see the wildhearts back in the boro. last nights gig in newcastle was brilliant and possibly the tightest i ever seen em play. the new stuff was wicked live too. took ma burd to her first wildhearts gig too n she loved it.xxx

  8. Wez Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 15:10

    excellent gig, met some excellent people and in the name of sterling notes…..ban me from the merch stand.

    Jobseekers Allowance and the merch stand is not a good relationship haha

  9. Damian Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 17:23

    I’ve got to take odds with the assertion above that Wildhearts fans are in their 40s and 50s. Some are, and that’s great. And they’re getting plenty of new young fans, which is also great. I’m 36 personally. Nothing worse than a band playing “the hits” year after to year to nothing but an ever-diminishing core of the old faithful. There were loads of young ‘uns going mad in Bristol. The Wildhearts manage to keep long-term fans on board, and get new ones all the time. And nobody runs to the bar for the new stuff. This I think is a fantastic achievement. Compare that with, say, a few West Midlands-based bands I can think of…

    I take the point in Ginger’s blog on crime, although funnily enough I feel much safer living in the UK than I did in America, because every night we’d turn on the TV and more people had been shot (and this was just locally), and I used to have nightmares about it. I have actually had a knife held to me twice in the UK (both times in my four-year tenure in Manchester). Not nice, but I was glad it was a knife and not a gun.

    Phew, that was heavy. I prefer to accentuate the positive and things that make me happy. Things like watching The Wildhearts currently being on the form of their lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. JIzzo Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 17:26

    Bit of a shit blog there

    Newcastle rocked!!

  11. Col Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 17:50

    Shame the blog associated the gig with all the shit goin on in the city centre. They are 2 seperate entities in my view.

    Newcastle city centre is like any other city centre, a haven for shite hawks.

    I’ve been to plenty of gigs at Academy where the audience are nuts for the band. Unfortunatley last nites audience were pretty quiet, spread out over a biggish venue. Hanoi Rocks was pretty empty, B Babies audience was v quiet and last G solo tour was v quiet indeed. Maybe it’s this “genre” of music that isn’t attracting the people, I dunno.

    I’d spoke before the gig about my fears and a quiet crowd and I was spot on unfortunatley.

    We had a hell of a nite by the way, great to meet everyone and respect for the big guns at the front for giving their best.

  12. nadj Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 18:08

    Amazing night! Best Wildies gig yet by a long fookin’ chalk!

    I’d say the crowd did exactly as reported elsewhere on the tour – stood in quiet awe at the new stuff, then went absolutely ballistic for the second half. Certainly from where I was standing two rows back right in the centre. By far the best atmosphere, crowd-wise, of any gig I’ve been to in years too. Not one face without a big grin. Monday nights are always gonna be a slightly subdued one, but to me it felt more like a Friday night.

    I think perhaps as a crowd the majority are getting older and wiser together, not over-doing it too much, and just enjoying the music. Also, the sound was a lot quieter than any band I’ve seen there yet. Anyone else notice that? The sound quality was spot-on, but never seemed to hit me square in the gut as it usually would.

  13. Nige Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 18:13

    Bit of double standards there Ginger.
    You go on about the can’t standing the thugs in this country, but surely the likes of you have been supporting thugs similar to these by buying drugs from them in the past/present(?)!

  14. Inglorious Rob Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 18:13

    Agree with most of Ginger’s comments on crime, except the statement that it’s “born of a society that provides no release of boredom”.

    When I was that age there was no internet, bowling alleys (I’m from Devon, ok??), playstation/Wii/X-box, etc. Neither me nor anyone I ever knew felt the need to carry knives or assault people in the street. I’m not sure what the cause is, but surely much of it is lack of parental responsibility.

  15. Inglorious Rob Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 18:14

    Oh, and just to lighten things up a little…Nottingham is definitely the best wildhearts gig I’ve ever seen. ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. nadj Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 19:00

    …perhaps the crowd were quiet spending too much time getting huffy about the crowd being quiet! Ignore them, get into the music and do your own bit of going mental. We were all there to be rocked senseless, and I think we all indeed were, quiet or not!

    It does seem that the Academy does that to crowds though, and the more I think about it the more I seem to remember there being nowhere near enough bass, both last night and for any other band I’ve seen there. I really really miss the Riverside!

  17. winst Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 19:37

    just want to add my opinion on the responses to last nights gig. as a old geordie git quite experienced in matters of gigs, venues ,crowds etc the newcastle crowd last night responded in a way one would expect for a home crowd waiting for the return of “old friends. “we as a whole listened in quiet appreciation to the first set, then as was expected went mental as the old favourites followed one by one.. the band did us proud and we told them so.it was good to see ginger and the boys afterwards ,they were more than happy to chat to the lucky few who remained, a good night was had by all.as a point of interest panda was not attacked in newcastle but east boldon a quite affulent area as it happens not the stereo typical geordie ghetto.to his merit panda is an amazing human being,his positive attitude and amazing outlook on life shames most of us ( me included ). my opinion wanted or not is that i would hang the BASTARDS FROM ANY AVAILABLE TREE.scum is scum no matter where you live north ,south,east or west.this “north” of ours like most of england is going down the shitter with ever increasing speed,the politicians need a good kick up the arse and if i had the time,energy or ability i would stand against them,however as an iliterate drunk im not really qualified,in fact it takes a lot for me to do anything these days but i feel strongly about my area,my mates and my music. long live the wildhearts yer fuckin great..winst

  18. Andy Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 19:40

    Lock the bloody lot up. And make prison more like a punishment, so they’ll actually be worried about going there!

    No TV, no nice food, just locked in their cell alone the whole time apart from being let out once a day for their daily beating.

  19. nadj Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 19:54

    Spot on, winst!

  20. nadj Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 19:58

    …and Andy! They’re not kidding when they say prison’s too good. It’s down to politicians worried about the rights of these twats, and giving them a second chance. Sod that! Where’s the deterant?? I’m sick of hearing about these scum commiting crime just to get in there like it’s a fooking holiday or something!

  21. penski Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 20:43

    Just to say thanks again. Both to Ginger for sorting me out last night and for the rest of the boys for playing a fucking blinder of a gig.

    2nd row, just to right of centre. From where I was, the crowd seemed to be not too far from my own age (25) – a handful of littluns and the rest seemed to be late-twenties to late-thirties.

    The new stuff really kicks it live. The crowd ripped it and sounded great for the second set – singing every word out loud!

    …And someone grabbed my cock during MBIAH ๐Ÿ˜

    As for scum…As has been touched on already, scum are scum the world over. I encountered more crime living in a posh bit of the riverside in Gateshead than I did living in Walker when I first moved here.

    Having missed the last Metro, I had to walk home…Through town, over the High-Level Bridge, through Gateshead and part of Deckham. Nobody would disagree with that being a nasty part of town…

    The night was warm, wearing just a T-shirt wasn’t a problem, my cap kept my head warm and I didn’t see another soul all the way home…Just had some awesome tunes floating through my head ๐Ÿ˜€

    Whenever I’ve had bad encounters with scum, it has been in broad daylight, in areas I wouldn’t expect it.

    I personally think that the Academy is an average venue at best. Too much space and too-high ceilings…Saw Skindred upstairs though and it was great. Packed, hot, sweaty…But great.

    Downstairs at Newcastle is a bit dingy, yes…But it has cracking atmosphere. The main room at Northumbria works well too despite being an auditorium.


  22. Andy Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 21:36

    I enjoyed the gig immensley as did my wife, my son and his girlfriend. I felt like Ginger was being almost apologetic for playing the album in full but it worked and the gig as a whole was exceptional and superb value for money at 14 quid per ticket. It was the best night out I’ve had since Ginger and the Sonic Circus played Legends a few years ago. I don’t know why we have to be so analytical about the crowd. Newcastle doesn’t have great venues like Nottingham, Glasgow and Leeds since the closure of the Riverside and the legendary Mayfair but that’s all we’ve got and I hope Ginger and the Wildhearts continue to play here. I love Newcastle and although there’s a minority that like to cause trouble, intimadate and hurt people, it’s really no worse than any other City around the UK. Anyway me and my family had a brilliant night out and even after 16 years of following The Wildhearts, Ginger and co still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and the music makes me jump up and down like a mentalist. Long live The Wildhearts!

  23. Col Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 22:00

    aaahhh, Sonic Circus at Legends, now that was a nite to remember!!!

  24. Steve Farcue Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 22:09

    Do you all not think it’s spooky how society is looking more like Anthony Burgess’ vision in A Clockwork Orange. Gangs of kids going round beating people up for no reason other than the fun of it. I fear for my 7 year old growing up in this country. Close to where i live there’s a gang called The Too Smooth Crew, who just roam the streets of a night beating up strangers. Their identity is known yet nothing is done. While there’s a blind eye, there’ll never be a solution.

  25. nadj Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 22:25

    In a way I think it’s been like that for a long time, and certain parts of society do seem to turn to crime in times of financial depression. Perhaps it’s that to an extent and also the greater amount of media coverage these days makes us think there’s kids with flick-knives around every corner, when actually these things happening is still quite rare in most places.

    There’s a hell of a lot more of us these days too so there’s bound to be more crime, even if the chances of getting attacked is probably as low as it was 30 years ago.

    I think the biggest problem is violent kids are starting to get violent younger than they ever were – there seems to be a generational problem of certain types of parents refusing to bring up their kids properly, and instead passing the buck to schools. Schools are there to teach you skills, parents are supposed to teach you to be a decent human being.

    I bet you don’t get serious debate like this on many other band’s blogs!

  26. winst Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 23:06

    oh ! and another thing, the idea to play the new album in full was i thought both brave and clever,the show started at a nice pace and grew in tempo song after song,the album worked very very well live and in particular (my point of view)john of violence and you took the sunshine from new york sounded amazing ,im informed the crew chose the second set and a bloody good choice too.geordie in wonderland brought a lump to me throat and pride not felt for some time in this old body of mine, 29 x the pain was class my baby is a headfuck was just brilliant and so on and so on…roll on the next tour….

  27. M@M Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 10:11

    As someone who has been ‘jumped’ on the street I can see where you are coming from. But a three strike rule may not stop the bastards from attacking. They see themselves as a gang and not one of them to blame.
    Also the people who do the crime have to live with the life they have. Two of the idiots that attacked me are dead due to drug od.
    I was lucky as a police van going by was my saviour. If the van did not come down the street at that time I may not be typing this.

  28. The Scase Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 13:44

    Call me what you will, be it for my own safety, I don’t walk anywhere alone by myself after 11pm, even in areas I know well. I go to a mates house most nights and rather than walking 10 minutes home, Id rather kip on his horrible sofa than risk some random thugs ruining my face, my body, my life or taking my life. It just isn’t worth it. And its sad, because I would love to live in a world where I can walk home alone at anytime without a care in the world, but it just is not to be.

  29. Maffew Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 13:57

    Well I’m sorry you didn’t think the audience was up to scratch noise-wise, but I can only speak for myself when I assure you I was shouting and making as much noise and having as much fun as I could and had a hell of a night out as a result. Maybe you didn’t get a ‘Sonic Circus at Legends’ response because there wern’t guys on stage shoving nails into themselves.

  30. Steve1974 Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 23:27

    Loved every second of the gig, I was right up front in front of Cj.
    Met some really cool ppl beforehand and stuck around outside with some cool Irish chaps and had a little chat with Ginger at the stage doors.
    Walked to the Travelodge on the Quayside on my own and hardly saw a soul.
    Probably cos the little gits that cause alot of shit these days are tucked up in bed by then.

  31. PG Says:
    October 1st, 2009 at 14:04

    The Bullshit about the crowd is this…if the 900 punters in Newcastle had`ve been crammed into a venue the size of the Cockpit or Wedge Rooms etc the the atmosphere would`ve been electric. I think the Newcastle crowd has been judged unfairly as the hall was much bigger than other venues. From what I saw the crowd was bang into the 2nd half and the band as ever went down really well.

    To get back to the crime subject…..it`s not Newcastle it`s the whole of the country run under ths spineless Government.
    Basically until they start banging up the Vermin and stop the benefit given out to Chav families then this place will get worse and worse. You have families who have ben a problem for generations yet they bredd faster than your normal everyday folk. Why? Because this dumb place rewards them financially for every little oik they knock out on an annual basis. they don`t have a family for love or value but for financial gain. Your average decent person has 2 kids average thse days but families from the Hills Have Eyes who are basically like the folk in Shameless have around 10 and contribute nothing to society but cause decent law abiding folk.
    The most recent stomach churning event by these lovable little scum bags was the death of young Sophie Lancaster. Sophie was a Goth Girl who was a attacked by Chavs walking through her local park. They attacked her and her Boyfriend. Stamped on her face until she died.
    Her crime? Having Red Dreadlocks. The other horrific thing about this is when one of the Mothers (?) of these little Scum Bags was sitting in court, when they read out waht they did to this poor Girl the Slag sat and laughed! How sick can you get but this is the sort of Vermin this country is producing now I`m afraid. Capital punishment is the only answer.
    Why keep the lkes of Rapists, Muggers & Killers alive?

  32. ballofmayhem Says:
    October 1st, 2009 at 21:24

    hey guys.
    just to say that the comments about the crowd are a bit harsh,we were hollerin like bansheees for both new and old.thenew stuff is truly outstandin and a breath of fresh air.you all look fit and well which is good to see.the sound was spot on -but it is everytime you play there.

    on the subject of crims……nowt short of public flogging at greys monument on a saturday…or even half time entertainment at st james for that matter…it makes me fuckin sick-(the crime not the footy)-although………..

    a quick plug if i may -myspace.com/ballofmayhem
    were local and if yi want a rawcus opener anytime -we’ll gladly do it for nowt man.

    i remember the days of the mayfair and mondo akimbo-class but like a good drop o vino…just gets better with time.good luck in japan,take care and for fucks sake stay off the saki until after lol lol.
    respect to you all for the constant insperation.
    the guys from the mayhem ๐Ÿ˜›

  33. Tim Hughes Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 19:38

    Hey Ginger,

    i know where you are coming from with the violence thing. Thats why i have been living in Cyprus for the last 5 years. Almost no crime, you can go out for a walk at any time of the day or night with no fear of getting jumped, the weather helps a lot but the almost zero crime does it for me. It does mean i miss a lot of the gigs but its a small price to pay for a safe life. See you at your birthday gig with a bit of luck I’ll get on stage again to give you another bottle of bubbly all wrapped up in red latex!!

  34. Gallifrey Seven Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 20:04

    The state of this country is the main reason I’m moving to Barcelona. Why? Because some of the things this country is the ONLY country to produce are:


    “People” (I use the term very loosely) who can only go out in public if it involves drining beyond their abilities and causing as much harm to others as possible.

    People who live in, and take from, from a country they despise without integrating or contributing.

    An antisocial minority who make life unpleasant for the prosocial majority, with another uber left wing minority all-too-ready to make us feel we are somehow fascists if we dare complain.

    Sadly, it will take a government with the balls to publicly agree – and act on – what the vast majority think to rectify the situation. A government who can see past instant votes and tackle problems head-on.

    But also a voting population who give enough of a crap to actually get out there and vote. Last General Election, only 64.1% of the applicable population bothered, the lowest post-war turnout ever – many of those blinded by soundbites, personality or “who I’ve always voted for”. I don’t know which is worse – idiotic voting or complete apathy.

    What chance more than 90% of the voting population will listen to all mandates and choose the party who closest match their own beliefs and ideals, regardless of who they are? The day it happens, I’ll come back too.

    PS – this does now mean you have to play Barcelona every year guys ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Col Says:
    October 6th, 2009 at 22:46

    What does a turnout of 64.1% tell you? It tells me that there is no one worth voting for and they are all as bad as each other. Are non voters supposed to take the blame for chavs, thugs etc?

    Enjoy Barcelona, I’m sure there is no crime whatsoever there. Oh shit, first search found this…..
    Numerous factors help explain Barcelonaโ€™s rampant thievery. Tax and immigration issues, packed prisons, overextended judicial systems, law enforcement budget constraints, high unemployment, all contribute to the persistence of street crime. But when the courts give a pickpocket a monetary fine to pay, how do they expect him to obtain the funds?

  36. Steven Says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 12:58

    It was a great gig, loved every minute. The crowd were fine… but it was a Monday ๐Ÿ˜€

    Believe it or not, it was my first Wildhearts gig. Yeah, I’m a newbie, but I had seen Ginger a few months back (another great night).

    [trots off to Amazon to pick up more Wildhearts goodness]

  37. andystu Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 18:03

    on the point of the ageing fanbase, my group of seven’s average age was 22, they’ll continue to pick up fans on the strength and consistency of the tunes as long as us people keep spreading the word. looking forward to sorry and the sinatras in dundee too, should be a few tales to tell the next day ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Bill Says:
    October 20th, 2009 at 22:24

    did you know more money gets spent feeding a prisoner than does feeding an nhs patient

  39. Cain Says:
    November 17th, 2009 at 11:19

    They all need a public bumming if you ask me.

    Continue to rock, men.


You must be logged in to post a comment.